My Weekend: A Few Days Away & The National Zoo

This past weekend we took a short vacation! My husband was already off for 5 days because we had originally planned on going to Busch gardens or Raleigh. Both plans were cancelled and we were left with a 5 day weekend!

I have been working a lot more than normal lately and we haven’t really done much this summer due to colds and other illnesses. My husband, JC, thought we needed to do SOMETHING! So he used some hotel rewards points he had and booked us a hotel about a half hour outside Washington DC at no cost. It was only 30 mins away from our house, but it had an indoor pool, lots of neat restaurants close by and IT WASNT HOME! We spent the first day there kinda wandering around the local mall, eating good food and relaxing! For me relaxing meant reading the new Martha Stewart’s Living and sketching and for JC and CT it meant swimming. It was nice.

The second day away we spent at the National Zoo in Washington DC. One of my favorite places! It was supposed to rain, but apparently we had some luck for once and it was just a bit overcast. It WAS super humid, even though it was only 75*F out! My lungs hated it, but I pushed myself to keep walking. It was also CT’s first time visiting the zoo, I wanted to make sure she saw as much as possible.

Oh and of course I took a load of photos, so prepare yourselves, there are a bunch…

zoo_001 zoo_002 zoo_003 zoo_004 zoo_005 zoo_006 zoo_007 zoo_008 zoo_009 zoo_010 zoo_011I treat my trips to the zoo like photography challenges. It probably has something to do with the yearly field trips my photo class took to the zoo in high school (and the few times I chaperoned my siblings trips later on) We were let loose on the zoo for an entire day and told to take photos certain ways of certain subjects. I loved it! One of the nice perks of living near a big city growing up. We also did Baltimore trips, but nothing beat the zoo!

My personal challenge this time was to only use my 75-300mm Lens and the largest aperture my camera would let me. Nothing else. Its obviously not a hard challenge, but I still like the limits. This did mean that whenever I wanted to take a picture of something close by, I had to back up really far and look like a fool. The photos came out with such a nice depth of field that I don’t care!


(This ragged looking little bird wasn’t part of any exhibit, he was just wandering around. I just wanted to share a photo of him because he was so friendly and came right up to me!)

Anyway, back to our trip…

The zoo ended up being a huge hit with CT. Though her favorite part ended up being an orangutan who would throw up on the glass and eat it again. She’s STILL talking about that! I’m so happy we finally went. It’s hard to justify not going when we live so damn close to the city. I’m going to make it a personal goal to visit DC more often. We even live down the street from  MARC train stop that goes into the city every weekday!!! No excuses.

The rest of our time away was spent wandering IKEA and thrift stores. I ended up with some Blythe furniture from IKEA and a sweet Pyrex bowl from the thrift store. CT found a huge wooden modern dollhouse for $10!! SCORE!

I’m so happy we were able to do this and its made me a little more excited, and less nervous, for our NYC trip coming up in October. I’m going for BlytheCon, my family is just going for fun. Any of you guys going too?

Close Ups: Juxtapose Necklaces

Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous! The sun was nice, bright and warm. PERFECT photo weather! Of course I took advantage of it. I now have about two weeks worth of product photos to edit and I couldn’t be happier.

I edited the Juxtapose Necklaces first, because I was excited to see them. I was so happy with the final close up photos that I just had to share some of them! They feel sorta dramatic to me. Kinda personal too. I’m thinking of printing off the top one to hang in my sewing room, as a colorful reminder of where I started.

Fun Fact: One of my favorite things is taking macro or up close photos. I love being able to capture detail that sometimes the naked eye can’t even see. I seriously prefer it over the everyday, real world around me photos. I wonder what that says about me?

If anyone is interested, all of these necklaces have been added to the shop, or were already in the shop but have updated photos now!

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Collections: Signs

So, this is kinda a weird collection. It’s not really a physical collection. I can’t really hold it in my hands. I don’t display it throughout my house like my other collections. It’s a collection of photographs. Photo’s of signs to be exact.

I don’t know exactly when I started collecting these. I really got into photography full on in highschool when I took my first photo class. I think a lot of the photos back then were of signs, and other random things. Then I started working in photo labs soon after, and the discounted processing made it so much easier to take photos of EVERYTHING.

I didn’t start putting all my sign photos into one spot until I started using Flickr, many years ago. I was able to categorize everything, and put like things together. I’m almost up to 500 signs so far. Some are local and a lot are from my, post mommy life, travels. I love going back and looking at them. They’re something so simple, and normal to our everyday life. To me they’re pretty, colorful and interesting.

If you would like to see my entire collection, just head on over to Flickr. I took a bit of a break from taking a lot of photos of inanimate objects when CT was born. I was more interested in taking pictures of her, plus we didn’t go out much. Now that we are taking more day trips, I think I may start adding to my collection again!

I’m also thinking once I hit 500 photos, I may have them all printed up in one of those Blurb books. I’m all about those things right now.

Do any of you have unconventional collections? I’d love to see them!!

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